Postpartum urinary incontinence

Authors


Abstract

Background.  The aim of the present study was to identify prepregnancy, pregnancy and delivery correlates of urinary incontinence postpartum (PP UI) as reported by women in a cross-sectional population sample.

Methods.  A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was carried out in 1998 in a random population sample of 3900 20- to 59-year-old women. The present study includes 376 women who had their last delivery during 1993–96.

Results.  UI immediately after childbirth and 6 months thereafter was reported by 23.4% and 2.7%, respectively. PP UI was strongly associated with UI both before and during the present pregnancy, explaining 37.5% and 51.7% of postpartum UI, respectively. Eight percent experienced their first UI episode ever immediately after the delivery. Among women undergoing a cesarean section 8.8% reported postpartum UI, as contrasted with 24.9% in other women. Postpartum UI was positively associated with perineal suturing but un-associated with labor augmentation, episiotomy, birth weight, and breast-feeding.

Conclusion.  In the present study, which included a comprehensive causal model, postpartum UI could be explained first of all as the decline of pregnancy UI, secondly as a manifestation of a pre-existing tendency to react by UI, and finally as a consequence of the birth process itself.

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